Music critics trash and praise the same record

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Simkin
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Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by Simkin » Tue May 27, 2014 7:18 pm

Music critics trash and praise the same record released under different names

http://ecclesiastes911.net/music_critic ... me_record/

jbuck919
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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by jbuck919 » Tue May 27, 2014 7:48 pm

I missed one. Are you assuming that we will equate better performance with famous performer? In fact that is how I got three of them. For the other two, including the one I got wrong (and make no apology for it) I relied on what educators call test-wise knowledge. I will refrain from spoiling this for others and reveal the details after they have had a go at it.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by John F » Tue May 27, 2014 8:34 pm

Joyce Hatto again. There's plenty of blame and shame to go around with the Hatto scandal, and we've discussed it here more than once. The two examples given don't support any broad conclusion. In one, the reviewer listened to the two discs 15 years apart. The other listened only a couple of days apart and should certainly have noticed, but though he has held important positions in classical music broadcasting and the record business, he was never a professional record reviewer.

The Sorokin and Boldyrev experiment shows only that in 1932, a vast majority of lay listeners could not recognize Brahms's Symphony #1, and being at a loss, took refuge in the lie they had been told by the experimenters. I have no idea whether the same would be true today. Classical music was far less accessible back then, and recordings were more expensive than now.

As for the quiz, I couldn't possibly choose which version was by the more famous performer, so I chose the one I thought was better. For #2, the version I picked was by an obscure conductor and orchestra, but considering who the famous performer was, that could be a valid critical opinion. :mrgreen: Otherwise, my choices turned out to be the famous performers. I didn't need to listen to the ends of the clips to make my choices.
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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by Modernistfan » Wed May 28, 2014 7:50 am

The Hatto fraud fiasco is not the only time this has happened. About 15 years or so, Chandos put out a recording of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with Frans Helmerson as the soloist and the Russian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valery Polyansky. Most critics panned this recording. Some years after than, Regis, an English label specializing in reissues, put out what was claimed to be a recording by the Russian cellist Daniel Shafran and the Moscow Philharmonic conducted by Konstantin Ivanov of the same work, made about 1962. The critics praised this recording to the skies. However, shortly after this recording had been released, it turned out that what had been released by Regis was exactly the same recording that had been released earlier by Chandos; they had been misled by their sources in the Czech Republic. They withdrew the fake "Shafran" recording. Not one critic even picked up on the sound, which, as a modern digital recording by Chandos, would have been far too good for a 1962 Russian analog recording.

SONNET CLV
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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by SONNET CLV » Wed May 28, 2014 10:49 am

Modernistfan wrote:The Hatto fraud fiasco is not the only time this has happened. About 15 years or so, Chandos put out a recording of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with Frans Helmerson as the soloist and the Russian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valery Polyansky. Most critics panned this recording. Some years after than, Regis, an English label specializing in reissues, put out what was claimed to be a recording by the Russian cellist Daniel Shafran and the Moscow Philharmonic conducted by Konstantin Ivanov of the same work, made about 1962. The critics praised this recording to the skies.
Actually, this sounds like a bit of shrewd marketing genius on the part of Regis!

bigshot
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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by bigshot » Wed May 28, 2014 12:35 pm

I'm not at all surprised that Deacon got fooled. He's an opinionated, surly guy with a huge ego.

jbuck919
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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by jbuck919 » Wed May 28, 2014 9:41 pm

I got the first three right on the basis of what I consider the better performance. The A choice for the fourth excerpt was a scratchy recording, so I used "test wisdom" to deduce that it would not have been included at all (or been preserved to begin with) if it were not by someone famous. My downfall was with item 5, where the A choice is obviously the better performance, but the B choice is just the kind of eccentric and/or puzzling performance that some pianists of the past were capable of (e.g., Horszowski playing Bach), while at the same time again sounding like an older recording. This time I outsmarted myself, because the famous performer was A, Horowitz. In my defense I'll say that the opening of the C-sharp minor Sonata presents no interpretive or technical challenge at all, and that Horowitz's superior performance is the obvious way to do it, which even my poor self could easily duplicate. One has to search hard to find an oddball performance that could lead others astray as it did me.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Simkin
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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by Simkin » Fri May 30, 2014 2:06 pm

Modernistfan wrote:The Hatto fraud fiasco is not the only time this has happened. About 15 years or so, Chandos put out a recording of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with Frans Helmerson as the soloist and the Russian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valery Polyansky. Most critics panned this recording. Some years after than, Regis, an English label specializing in reissues, put out what was claimed to be a recording by the Russian cellist Daniel Shafran and the Moscow Philharmonic conducted by Konstantin Ivanov of the same work, made about 1962. The critics praised this recording to the skies. However, shortly after this recording had been released, it turned out that what had been released by Regis was exactly the same recording that had been released earlier by Chandos; they had been misled by their sources in the Czech Republic. They withdrew the fake "Shafran" recording. Not one critic even picked up on the sound, which, as a modern digital recording by Chandos, would have been far too good for a 1962 Russian analog recording.
Very interesting. Do you remember the names of the critics and the journals?
John F wrote:The two examples given don't support any broad conclusion. In one, the reviewer listened to the two discs 15 years apart.
Did the music get better after 15 years like some precious wine?
John F wrote: The other listened only a couple of days apart and should certainly have noticed,
No. He posted couple days apart.
John F wrote: but though he has held important positions in classical music broadcasting and the record business, he was never a professional record reviewer.
He selected the recordings for great pianists of the century series.

Simkin
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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by Simkin » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:10 pm

Modernistfan wrote:The Hatto fraud fiasco is not the only time this has happened. About 15 years or so, Chandos put out a recording of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with Frans Helmerson as the soloist and the Russian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valery Polyansky. Most critics panned this recording. Some years after than, Regis, an English label specializing in reissues, put out what was claimed to be a recording by the Russian cellist Daniel Shafran and the Moscow Philharmonic conducted by Konstantin Ivanov of the same work, made about 1962. The critics praised this recording to the skies. However, shortly after this recording had been released, it turned out that what had been released by Regis was exactly the same recording that had been released earlier by Chandos; they had been misled by their sources in the Czech Republic. They withdrew the fake "Shafran" recording. Not one critic even picked up on the sound, which, as a modern digital recording by Chandos, would have been far too good for a 1962 Russian analog recording.
Would be good if you wrote an article about it. With the exact references to the reviews. Otherwise this wonderful story will be forgotten.

mikealdren
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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by mikealdren » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:23 am

There was also the Chopin Piano Concerto attributed to Dinu Lipatti for many years but actually recorded by Halina Czerny-Stefanska.

Mike

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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by slofstra » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:37 am

Spoiler alert - do not read this if you intend to take the test, and have not yet.


Your score is 67%

Clip A: Zagreb Philharmonic, Richard Edlinger
Clip B: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti

Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D Minor
1. B
---------------------------------------------------

Clip A: Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan
Clip B: Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasil Kazandjiev

Richard Wagner, Tannhauser
2. Right answer: A Your answer: B
---------------------------------------------------

Clip A: London Symphony Orchestra, James Levine
Clip B: Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, Vassil Stefanov

Giuseppe Verdi, La Forza del Destino
3. A
-------------------------------------

Clip A: Robert-Alexander Bohnke, piano, Tubingen Philharmonic Orchestra, Norbert Kirchmann
Clip B: Van Cliburn, piano, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner

Sergey Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor
4. B
--------------------------------------------


Clip A: Vladimir Horowitz, piano, Arturo Toscanini
Clip B: Josef Bulva, piano, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bystrik Rezucha

Johannes Brahms, Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major
5. A

---------------------------------------------

Clip A: Vladimir Horowitz
Clip B: Josef Bulva

Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor (Moonlight)
6. Right answer: A Your answer: B

------------------------------------------------------------


The ones I had "wrong" were 2 and 6. I've never liked Horowitz in the Beethoven Sonatas, and his left hand in clip 6 is dreadful. I preferred Bulva, whoever he is. Obviously, this is a matter of taste and preference, not ability. The opening movement of #14 is hardly a test of pure skill, and yet there's quite a range in interpretation.

I re-listened to #2 a face off between von Karajan and Kazandjiev. In doing this test, I only listened to each passage once, and made a decision. I think I was won here initially by a little more expressiveness in Kazandjiev, especially in the high notes of the strings, and the opening plummet by the bass won me over. On re-listening the smoothness of the BPO is more apparent, and perhaps it offers a better exploration of the harmonics of the music. But I don't know the Tannhauser or the context of the music, so I don't have an impression of how it should sound.

In the other examples, I found it easy to choose my preference, which as it happened, was the more famous performer in each case.

Simkin
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Re: Music critics trash and praise the same record

Post by Simkin » Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:47 pm

mikealdren wrote:There was also the Chopin Piano Concerto attributed to Dinu Lipatti for many years but actually recorded by Halina Czerny-Stefanska.
Here is the story
http://www.markainley.com/music/classic ... andal.html

However it does not mention different critical evaluations of the recording under different names. Have there been such?

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